Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea
Sunday, 21st April 2013
Premier League; Anfield
Luis Suarez scored a 97th minute equaliser to rescue a point for Liverpool and hold Chelsea to a 2-2 draw at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, but it was another incident in the game that will get all the headlines.
Shortly before the equaliser, the Uruguayan appeared to bite Chelsea centre-back Branislav Ivanovic on the arm. TV replays prove conclusive that a frustrated Suarez turned on the Serbian defender.
The game also saw Rafa Benitez return to the club as a manager of another club for the first time since his departure in 2010. The Spaniard received a warm reception, but attentions quickly turned to the football as Chelsea went 1-0 up through Oscar on 26 minutes.
The Reds struggled to find a way through the Chelsea defence and were behind in at half-time courtesy of Oscar’s header, another from a set-piece conceded by Brendan Rodgers’ side this season.
The introduction of former Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge at half-time rejuvenated Liverpool, the former Chelsea player almost equalising within seconds of the restart. Sturridge was on hand to slot home an equaliser for the Reds after a superb flick from Downing and chipped ball in by Suarez. A superb goal.
Sturridge had also hit the post as Liverpool looked much more lively after his introduction.
Chelsea, to their credit, played a good game and kept Liverpool at bay with a tight defence, their formation closing the pitch to not allow the Reds any space in which to attack.
They took the lead again just before the hour mark when Eden Hazard converted a penalty after a handball by Suarez. It wasn’t to be the last idiotic moment from Suarez of the game.
Suarez’s incident with Ivanovic, picked up by the TV cameras, with most fans in the ground unaware at what had happened, was in the 74th minute. His frustrations from giving away a penalty getting to him in what was a indefensible action.
Referee Kevin Friend did not see the incident, so Suarez stayed on the pitch.
With six minutes of added time awarded, Liverpool mounted several attacking waves, until, right at the death, Suarez popped up with Liverpool’s equaliser – this time Sturridge with the assist.
The result does neither team many favours, but unfortunately it will be Suarez’s bite that dominates football news for the days and weeks to come.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger, Carragher, Gerrard, Phillippe Coutinho (Sturridge – 46′ ), Henderson, Downing (Shelvey – 80′ Booked ), Lucas, Suarez.
Substitutes: Jones,Coates, Skrtel, Shelvey, Coady, Assaidi, Sturridge.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, David Luiz, Azpilicueta, Bertrand, Ramires, Mata (Lampard – 90′ ), Oscar (Moses – 83′ ), Mikel, Hazard (Benayoun – 78′ ), Torres.
Substitutes: Turnbull, Ferreira, Terry, Lampard, Moses, Benayoun, Ba.